KUALA LUMPUR, April 21 — The reopening of Malaysia’s international borders from April 1, 2022, had boosted applications for air traffic rights (ATR) by 650 per cent during a 15-day period compared to the applications received between March 1 – March 15, 2022, said the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom)
The commission said a total of 15 ATR applications were submitted between April 1, 2022, and April 15, 2022, comprising seven ATRs for the cargo sector, including passenger to cargo (P2C) flights, three ATRs for passenger flights on domestic routes, and five ATRs for passenger flights on international routes.
“The significant jump in ATR applications from airlines is indeed an encouraging development as it signals that the industry is gradually transitioning towards recovery,” said executive chairman Datuk Seri Saripuddin Kasim.
On the issue of high airfares to Sabah and Sarawak, Saripuddin said Mavcom reported that 1,141 flight frequencies have been approved for the routes between Peninsular Malaysia to Kota Kinabalu, Tawau, Sandakan, Sibu, Kuching, Bintulu, Miri and Labuan for flights during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri travel period of April 27 to May 8, 2022.
MAVCOM’s latest observation showed that most economy one-way airfares for flights from Peninsular Malaysia to Sabah and Sarawak are around RM200 to RM500 during the same travel period, he added.
“This is due to the increased flight frequency and more seats being made available for the public,” Saripuddin said, adding that the commission does not regulate airfares as it is determined based on a dynamic pricing mechanism applied by airlines globally and is also utilised in various industries.
Meanwhile, Mavcom has approved 95.4 per cent of the total 22 ATR applications, granting 21 approvals to eight airlines, which represented a slightly reduced application rate compared to the corresponding quarter of 2021, according to its ATR report for the first quarter of 2022. The lower application was mainly due to airlines awaiting the reopening of Malaysia’s international borders, said the report.
It also revealed that SKS Airways Sdn Bhd, which is among the newest airlines in Malaysia, was awarded the highest number of ATR approvals with a total of four ATRs across domestic routes.
AirAsia Bhd, Malaysia Airlines Bhd, M Jets International Sdn Bhd, and MyJet Xpress Airlines Sdn Bhd each received three ATR approvals followed by MABKargo and MASwings, which both received two ATRs, while AirAsia X Bhd was awarded one ATR approval.
As for the cargo sector, Mavcom received and approved a total of eight ATR applications in the first quarter, representing a 38.5 per cent decrease compared to the 13 ATRs received in the fourth quarter of 2021.